Railway divisional manager presents the project; follow-up meet in city soon

A proposal for reviving the old railway station has been mooted. The proposal includes the construction of a Pachalam rail overbridge, a roundabout, six new railway tracks and a 10-storied commercial complex.

A primary discussion on the project, which has been proposed to be completed on public-private participation mode, was held in the State capital on Wednesday.

Once the project is completed, four tracks will be reserved for express trains and two for suburban trains. The commercial complex has been proposed to generate revenue for the railways. Each floor of the building will have a floor area of one lakh sq ft. The 35-acre land in possession of the railways will be utilised for the project.

Divisional Manager of the Southern Railway Rajesh Agarwal presented the project at the meeting.

Local bodies in the district, including the Kochi Corporation and various stakeholders, had been demanding the revival of the old railway station. Urban planners had also suggested development of a suburban railway network with the station serving as its hub. The local body had also been toying with the idea of setting up a roundabout at Pachalam for some time. It had also mooted a proposal for setting up a rail overbridge at Pachalam with the support of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Union Minister K.V. Thomas, who chaired the meeting, said the possibility of implementing the project as part of the Kochi Metro Rail Project would be explored. It would be possible to lay two tracks till Pachalam without acquiring land, he said.

A follow-up meeting including the representatives of the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation and Railways will be convened in Kochi next month. A detailed project proposal will be drawn up at the meeting. The proposal will later be placed before a high-level committee headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for approval.

Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany, Hibi Eden, Dominic Presentation and Ludie Louis, MLAs, were among those who attended.

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